February 5, 2015

Like the Bahamas, Ireland's tax policy is coming under a global spotlight

Posted in Irish Independent · 113 comments ·
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I realise it’s a bit odd to be writing about the Irish tax system while eating grilled fish at a beach shack in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas. I’m in this tax haven to give a speech about the economic challenges facing small countries when old certainties start to crumble. Specifically, in the case of the Bahamas, this has to do with changes to global tax conditions and the likely impact on the economies of the region as the giant in this part of the world, Cuba, opens up to commerce.

These people know all about commerce because it was a cornerstone of the unspeakable “Atlantic Triangle” trading regime of the 17th and 18th century. Guns and basic machinery were exported from England to Africa in exchange for humans (slaves). It is difficult to know how many fortunes of so-called “respectable”, old mercantile families were made from this ghastly trade.

When you walk around Nassau, there are echoes of Dublin everywhere. Not Dublin as we know it – but colonial Dublin, evident in our architecture, public buildings and churches. In Nassau’s old Anglican graveyard it is noticeable just how many early settlers were born in Ireland and how many Irish Anglicans with typical Catholic surnames are buried in the early Protestant churches here.

Even the name of this place, Nassau, is the same Nassau of Nassau Street in Dublin. The Nassau family were German royalty who allied with the Protestant Williamite House of Orange.

As the Caribbean became the theatre for the great colonial wars between England, Spain and France, it is not surprising that prized territories like the Bahamas would be named after victorious British royalty.

The religious influence here is still strong and I am writing in the shadow of Nassau’s redoubtable St Andrew’s Church, twinned with St Andrew’s Church in the centre of Dublin.

In colonial days, these Christian churches were instruments of the colonial project; after all, if you could get the slaves to believe in the same God as you, then you controlled the language, propaganda and, ultimately, history. Controlling the debate is crucial when you are in the business of mass oppression; your marketing department needs to come up with all sorts of tricks to make sure that your brand stays on top.

Yes, there were dissenters who were part of the abolition of slavery movement, but in general, the church – up until the early 19th century – was hand in glove with colonialism and slavery.

Commerce has always had ethical dimensions and eventually these need to be squared. In the end, banning slavery was an argument between freewheeling capitalism and human rights. In the end human rights won and slavery was banned here in 1823. But the discussion about human rights and commerce continues.

Fast forward one hundred years and we see that the churches – of all stripes – are the ones leading discussions on morality, economic equality and the efficacy of economic policy. The much-diminished churches are the ones talking about fairness, rights and grappling with some of the big moral questions being thrown up by taxation and tax havens.

On Thursday, February 12 in Dublin, Christian Aid is hosting a conference on the human rights impact of tax and fiscal policy. Maybe because this is organised by Christian Aid there are more conflicting views on offer than usual, but the crucial issue of our 12pc corporate tax rate, and how long it can go on for, will be discussed. Coming in from the airport, I listened to my taxi driver lament the closing of the Nassau office of UBS (a Swiss bank that I worked for once). He explained that it closed because America is clamping down on personal tax avoidance. “How long before it clamps down on corporate tax avoidance? And when it does, what will we do?”

In a strange sense, Ireland and the Bahamas face a broadly similar set of dilemmas. Both countries have used tax holidays to generate revenue, which wouldn’t have been possible in the absence of these tax discrepancies. Both are in the sights of the world now.

In a fascinating twist, the Christian Aid conference has brought in heavyweight speakers, including the current UN special rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Professor Philip Alston. In the UN, a central part of his mandate is to look at the role of progressive fiscal policy in underpinning human rights. The contrast is that a tax system that is full of loopholes is a system that undermines those rights.

The human rights angle we are talking is whether the resources of the economy are mobilised to provide access to basic income, education and housing or whether too much of the resources of the economy are accruing to too few. This means that the countries with progressive taxes, where everyone pays according to their means, have much higher levels of basic care and thus, are supporters of the more broader human rights.

A modern world where economists rarely talk about the human rights aspects of commerce, is as blind as the 18th and 19th capitalist ideology which saw slavery as an unpleasant but essential ingredient of global commerce that made everyone rich with some of these riches trickling down to the bottom.

Fair play to Christian Aid for kicking off the debate in Dublin next week.


  1. I enjoyed this article . It was full of palm trees under the hot sun .

    Taxation can be seen as broadly two types of taxes namely Corporate and Personal . We in Ireland have and still are revamping the Corporate character and making it more appealing to the ethical world and the punters . We are leaders in the world in this service and we are improvising at a rapid rate ahead of other countries in Europe and the World. Corporate Taxation in Ireland can be now seen as the international benchmark for future discourse and recognised as an ‘original’ that no other country can compare with . As I have said before the words Taxation and Cáin are both separately Irish words .We can be proud of this achievement .

    Unfortunately I do not have the same respect for Personal Taxes Legislation in Ireland and their Enforcement Procedures . I believe that many other countries are fairer and socially accountable .It is my opinion that Irish personal taxes create an illusion that we are in a free society but unfortunately under a slave trader namely the troika .

    Slave trading has always been part of Irish history and took different forms over the centuries . I was in Ille de Goreé nesr Dakar in Senegal a slave traders detention for transport of all African slaves to the Americas .There you can see the remnants of the past and buildings unchanged . Many thousands of years earlier many of these people originally left these same shores as free people to Ireland to settle as blacks .In subsequent generations of Irish people the biggest and most profitable slave traders came from Ireland to sell those in Goreé and bring them to the Americas.

    Taxation and Slave trading are twins as Banking and Insurance and both cannot be isolated .

    • EugeneN

      John can you make less sense if you tried. I think you are being sarcastic but who knows. I doubt if the most profitable of slave traders came from Ireland, although there were some Anglo-Irish slavers.

    • DB4545

      John would you ever skip the bulls**t “oirish” aren’t we wonderful altogether nonsense. I take it you’re being ironic or sarcastic. David was visiting the Pirates of the Caribbean and we are the Pirates of the North Atlantic. We’ve achieved a benchmark that even the modern day Somali pirates couldn’t match. They take international cargoes and crews as hostages for ransom. Our Pirate class has taken the working population ransom to be squeezed until they bleed or emigrate. We’re a role model for fiscal piracy. We bury Corporate treasure and then dig it up and wash it when required for further export. Our pirate political and corporate business class have built an economy based on low corporate taxation (for offshore global business only native business can go f**k itself) and high personal taxation. This means that most of the working population are wage slaves. Ireland is the sow that eats its farrow.

      • Robert Mc Call

        “Ireland is the sow that eats its farrow.” You do have lucid moments and if it’s ok for me to comment, your language can sometimes be very harsh DB4545, but i gotta say , i do like your shooting from the hip.

        just sayin’

      • michaelcoughlan

        “Ireland is the sow that eats its farrow”

        Is that Joyce? Shockingly accurate description and still hasn’t changed.

        Michael.

        • DB4545

          It is the one and only Jimmy Joyce. I certainly haven’t got that talent for words. He may be harsh but Joyce most definitely was shooting from the hip to quote Mr. McCall above. I think we do ourselves and our kids absolutely no favours in selling the illusion that we live in some magical mystical Celtic wonderland. Underneath the smiles and corporate mission statements our political class have a ruthlessness that would make the Somali pirate economy seem like a Nordic welfare state. Again to quote another Mr. Robert Burns “0 wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us”. And sometimes what we see ain’t pretty.

          • DB4545

            Had a listen and it was worth it but it’s hardly cheerful Robert! I prefer Brendan Behan. “They court martialed me in my absence and they sentenced me to death in my absence so the f**kers can shoot me in my absence”.

    • Barrack OBama

      My message on this site is intended to show how history repeats itself and that is now before us once more . OBama currently has tax policies that are making their way with US Congress and maybe these might be harsh to us in Ireland nevertheless when they are sanctioned they will be a watershed. Their intentions will change tax as we have known it to be before .

      What I have tried to simplify is the real connection between the original substrate language once spoken on this isle with Gaelic today and the black man of yesterday as free men on the isles with white man today , and the same black man from Africa ( whose ancestors are Irish ) as slaves went to the Americas whose slave masters were white Irish ( cousins) and the President of USA whose Irish and looks like his (white ) Irish Grand father now making serious ever changing tax policies .

      And all of this is on the back of two words ‘Taxation’ and Cáin) the original words for taxation that were part of the substrate language that first arrived to our shore with Black Man prior to the Celts .

      • John,

        Do you seriously think Obama is going to get any useful legislation passed before he fades back into obscurity?

      • DB4545

        Jasus John you sound like a Celtic Yoda and not a little unlike the little fella we have up in the Phoenix Park on 250K a year. I bet that’s the gig that Obama really wanted motorcycle outriders and no responsibility. Who’s going to assassinate a President if most of the planet doesn’t even know he exists? Powerful you have become John Allen. The dark side I sense in you.

  2. Con Burke

    Ireland needs to be strong on this issue. We have already shown in Brussels that we are not going to give-up our Corporate Tax regime without a fight. Pressure will increase, however. We have seen an exodus of multi-nationals from Switzerland due to their regional tax system restructuring. Ireland cannot afford a scenario like this.
    What is angering Americans most is the fact that not only is our Corporate Tax rate low, at 12.5%, but the effective rate is only a fraction of this. The Americans are right to be annoyed by this. Obama’s proposed solution could work for all, (maybe lower his proposed rates a little) but is unlikely to make it through Congress.
    Corporations SHOULD be contributing significantly more to societal coffers. In Ireland the government are getting there share through indirect taxes from multi -nationals, i.e. PAYE/PRSI, and VAT. BUT, the balance should be shifted to take more tax from the corporation, and less from the employee.

  3. michaelcoughlan

    Hi,

    At your brilliant best again. The only main stream economist constantly hammering home the message regarding the rights of labour (ALL OF US) versus the rights of capital (and banks of course).

    The ans for the taxi driver is that his government like ours will have to change the status of their country from taxation whore and start producing goods and services to trade with other countries and businesses exterior to their own.

    Michael.

    • EugeneN

      Michael. Ireland has an export surplus. Every single post if yours is ill informed wittering.

      • michaelcoughlan

        Hi Eugene,

        I actually feel sorry for you and won’t respond to you again to save embarrassing you for the following reasons;

        1) You clearly are too illiterate to even consider using a spell check on your piece prior to posting,

        2) Your response has no relevance whatsoever to my original post nor the title piece,

        3) My three year old would construct a sentence with more skill than you do,

        4) Your post demonstrated a very poor half-witted attempt to throw a ball of shite at me,

        5) I don’t like or take pleasure in exposing people as nonsensical as yourself.

        Take care,

        Michael.

        • Grow up lads, bury the hatchet and play the ball – not the man.

          • michaelcoughlan

            Thanks Adam.

            You are right. I am going for a slice of humble pie right now. I am sorry Eugene if you have been offended and I will try not to be so robust in future.

            regards,

            Michael.

          • Robert Mc Call

            I bet that humble pie won’t touch the sides :)

            ROFLMAOYSST

          • michaelcoughlan

            Hi Robert.

            ROFLMAOYSST equals;

            “Rolling On Floor Laughing My Ass Off Yet Somehow Still Typing”

            Well fair play to you.

            You will have to do a looooooooootttttttttttt better though.

            regards,

            Michael.

          • Robert Mc Call

            Was that a Scottish loooooooootttttt Michael?

            Amazing how the mind works sometimes ..mine anyway lol

            You can blow out a candle
            But you can’t blow out a fire
            Once the flames begin to catch
            The wind will blow it higher


            And the eyes of the world are
            watching now
            watching now

            7minute version
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWSbp20kIqE

            [ what are they singing at the very start duz anyone know? sounds like it’s in French? – wouldnt be surprising,but what are they singing…any music officiandos in da house ?? Where’s Andrew G when you need him? he could explain the bagpipes too

          • Robert Mc Call

            @Adam

            Condisering ye were like conjoined twins during the last Kilkennomics , maybe you can reach out to Moloney and test him on the [obscure] Scottish influence in an african apartheid song ? But catch him on the hop and dont give him even 3 minutes to research it.He’s too handy on that keyboard by far yunno.Tanks

          • Music is something I have minimal interest in so you would have to ask him yourself Robert.

          • Robert Mc Call

            I lost my head with him once,”played the man” as you put it and he’s still sore about it.He’ll be in touch when he’s God damn good and ready and that’s fair enough.

            Speaking of growing up, check out this ‘old soul’

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8KrpwqxE4g

  4. EugeneN

    So back to this:

    “On Thursday, February 12 in Dublin, Christian Aid is hosting a conference on the human rights impact of tax and fiscal policy. Maybe because this is organised by Christian Aid there are more conflicting views on offer than usual, but the crucial issue of our 12pc corporate tax rate, and how long it can go on for, will be discussed.”

    The real issue with corporate avoidance in Ireland does not affect the poor, but it does middle income workers. That is if you believe that the corporation tax is due here ( theres an argument that it should be paid where the IP is generated, that is in the US, which is legit. Ignore the caterwauling nonsense from British commentators who think that Irish based companies should have corporation tax applied at sales in the UK, while British based companies should have corporation tax applied to worldwide sales in Britain).

    Now the argument about labour taxes is complicated by the fact that many middle income workers wouldn’t be employed were it not for these MNCs, however Irelands extremely high tax on mid income and higher wages is partly a result of MNCs not paying the already low corporation tax.

  5. tomahawk

    ‘Fair play to Christian Aid for kicking off the debate in Dublin next week.’
    Fair play to Christian Aid for being able to pay their CEO €168,000 pa.
    Very Christian of them to perpetuate the disconnect.

  6. SMOKEY

    The next tax on your disposable income is coming in the form of legislation to “save you” from being killed by cheap gargle, because you don’t know any better.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VL2kxX0UGFw&feature=youtu.be

  7. Reality Check

    The bahamas? Have a few for me David will ya?
    https://www.masterofmalt.com/rum/mount-gay-extra-old-rum/
    Ps As you’ve probably guessed chief EU overlord arselicker Airhead Enda is spouting that “Ireland is a role model for Europe”. Can’t wait for your take on the latest happenings in Greece. I hope Yanis burns em.
    Best

  8. michaelcoughlan

    Hi David,

    A thought crossed my mind re taxation and the title of this piece. But first the context; Adelaide had a superb post here some time ago stating that malinvestment resulting from QE was driving deflation (my interpretation of deflation in this case being a contracting economy).

    Bloomberg says 393 billion in loses are the result;

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-01-30/oil-plunge-puts-390-billion-hole-in-investors-pockets

    Talking about tax in this context is a bit like the government worrying about getting a slice of paye from the violin players as the titanic was going vertical no?

    LLAFH.

    Michael.

    • EugeneN

      Michael. Firstly deflation isn’t caused by “malinvestnent due to QE”. Even if that investment were badly thought out the drop in oil prices isn’t related to or caused by the General deflationary tendencies in Europe. What causes bad deflation is deleveraging, low wage growth, unemployment etc. If anything low oil prices act like a tax cut to consumers which can kick start economic growth.

      Investors lose money in oil. But that’s not the cause nor consequence of generalised deflation.

      You really only barely understand the things you post.

      • michaelcoughlan

        Hi Eugene,

        I said above I wouldn’t respond to you again but I cringed for you when I read this so let me explain;

        Your post starts off with “deflation isn’t caused by “malinvestment due to QE” and subsequently states;

        “What causes bad deflation is deleveraging”.

        Would you think that deleveraging is the result of malinvestment?

        When the Bonbon’s were posting here the more the posted the more they damaged themselves because they repeatedly highlighted their nonsensical dogma.

        I am trying to be gentle here Eugene. When you post you repeatedly demonstrate (at its most gentlest) your lack of joined up thinking.

        This blog is read by many who don’t post here at all and is available to everyone with a connection to the internet. I respectfully suggest you consider getting someone to proof read your pieces prior to posting.

        Best regards and respectfully,

        Michael.

  9. Rand Paul co-sponsors a bill to audit the Fed and the Fed comes out with a broadside cannonade in response. They say that the fed should not be politicized
    As that would be bad for the economy while also implying it is the fault of congress that the economy has not recovered.

    This ignores… That the actions of the Fed have not overcome a poor economy. That by joining a debate that is political they themselves politicize the Fed. That many suggest that the problem in the economy is the fed itself and its actions over the last 100 years. That in a full and democratic country as custodians of the wealth of the people and makers of monetary policy that effect every citizen they ought to be subject to scrutiny by those very same people.

    Those educated and enlightened people may just decide that the Central bankers provide no useful service for the people in general but enrich the bankers masters, bankers and associated parasites at the expense of those very same people.

    http://thehill.com/policy/finance/231822-fed-fires-back

  10. Mainstream economist and commentators are fast asleep perpetrating the myth that the economy is recovering. That includes just about anyone who comes to mind.

    It is your job as a thinking individual to wake them up and get the action you need.

    http://blog.milesfranklin.com/mainstream-put-them-to-sleep-its-your-job-to-wake-them-up

    Fraud encompasses nearly all aspects of our daily life. Even those who understand this concept are not fully aware of how deep this goes because we have all been numbed down to the point where what used to be “crazy” is now as normal as picking up the morning paper….Bill Holter

    • Colin

      Tony,

      The problem is most people do not want to think and live lives that do not require much thought. Even google searches have replaced coming up with the answers or working out the answers yourself. They get up in the morning to eat cornflakes and toast for breakfast without thinking. Then they travel to work/school/doss house/jobbridge without thinking. They might think about the scone/muffin option at morning break. And when they get home they watch mind numbing soaps or mind numbing current affairs shows starring the likes of Miriam who just can’t work out what the best questions are to be asking the so called experts and masters.

      • Con Burke

        Well put Tony. In a time when freedom of thought should be peaking, what with the limitless sources of information and news. Today, we should have the majority of information required to us, if we choose to assess and divulge it, to make our own conclusions and form our individual opinions on pretty much any topic of public interest. A lot of us take this for granted.
        Some claim the media is controlled, and we are told what we need to hear. I beg to differ. All sides of the argument are out there, on all subjects.
        40 years ago, the information sources were limited. In Ireland, we had a hand-full of TV and radio stations, and a few newspapers. No internet. Public opinion, for the vast majority, was pre-formulated through these media.
        The problem today is almost too much information. What information is trustworthy. However, the truth, for the most part, is out there, for those who can be bothered to look for it.

  11. coldblow

    My own understanding of slavery is that it was the cornerstone of the Mediterranean economy in the ancient world, for the simple reason that with the level of agricultural of the time without the additional labour of slaves (who could cultivate enough for their own subsistence but not enough to support dependents and reproduce) agriculture there (where the climate was not as favourable to crop growing as in Egypt or Mesopotamia) was not sustainable. (Crotty)

    In 18th century Ireland, with a fully free land market (ie where there were no customary rights, as in Ulster, to protect tenants) and the introduction of the potato, whose cultivation needs no more than a bucket of seed, a small plot of land and a spade, a vast coolie class grew up in the reign of George III, each family paid its rent from raising a pig which, when fattened, could be sold, at a favourable price even compared to the nearby US, to the Caribbean slave colonies, which were also a handy destination for discontented elements within the Irish population, who remained a dangerous focus of mutiny and needed to be carefully watched. (Crotty)

    This slave trade (argued Crotty) vanished not because of the efforts of Wilberforce and the humanitarians of whatever stripe, but because the nature of the world economy had changed. Here my memory is shakier, but I think with her big lead in industrialization Britain found it easier to freely exchange her manufactured products for a wide variety of goods whose production did not need to be forced under slave conditions. In other words, slavery died out because it was economically obsolete.

    • StephenKenny

      Slavery is nothing more than forcing people to work for nothing, or nearly nothing, so I’m not at all sure that the argument is very sound:

      - Forced prostitution is a high profile form of slavery.
      - The US Penal system includes a form of slavery (Googling US Penal Slavery does the trick).
      - Unscrupulous use of ‘indentured labour’ contracts results in effective slavery.
      - Highly skilled white slaves (architects, stonemasons, etc) we captured by the Barbary slave traders.

      Slavery happens when the weak are not protected from the strong. Economic forces destroy industries of course, and some of those may have included slave workforces, but I can’t really see why the existence of slaves in a workforce would cause the industry/business to collapse.

      • coldblow

        I’m not sure what argument you are making nor what argument you don’t agree with.

        Forced prostitution would here be an illegal activity so I wouldn’t include that, neither would prison with hard labour qualify. Indentured labour would come closer – I suppose at lesst theoritcally it is an agreement freely entered into – V.S. Naipaul’s forefathers would have been indentured labourers in Trinidad, I expect, as would Gandhi’s in South Africa.

        I think the Ottoman Turks would have given suitable employment to educated or gifted slaves, as would the Romans.

        It could be argued that the peoples in the old riverine despotisms, such as the Ottoman one, the Egyptians and the Mesopotamians would have been in practice the slaves of the ruler in that there was no concept of individual rights as grew up in temperate West Central Europe.

        I suppose extreme(r) feminists would argue that patriarchal society is a form of slavery. If you use your weak unprotected against the strong definition then I suppose school children can be regarded as slaves (though not by me).

        It’s your last sentence that really puzzles me though. Crotty didn’t argue that slavery caused businesses to collapse (David would argue, by the way, that successful modern businesses need creative workers who have the freedom to use their own initiative) but rather that slavery is the most productive way to organize an economy under certain conditions but when these conditions change it is no longer effective. Following on from that, when the economic conditions change slavery, no longer being useful or necessary, dies out and the actions of philanthropists are only marginal.

        I see this as a parallel to Crotty’s analysis of the Irish independence movement. Here he sees idealism as being marginal to the economic factors: the native Irish had by 1914 acquired the land from the British landlords and were prospering, they did not see why they should allow their spons be conscripted to fight a deadly war for the British Empire and could not see the advantage to themselves of contributing taxes towards subsidizing a new welfare state. The presence of a Viceroy, red pillar boxes, the British national anthem and a number of other issues would have been (Crotty argues) more in the nature of irritants than anything serious. I suppose this would be called economic determinism.

      • coldblow

        I think I now might have a better idea of your argument, which would be: why would slavery damage an economy if it meant that labour was being extracted at a very low cost. I think the argument against that (apart from the one I attribute to David above) would be that the enforcement of mass slavery comes at a high economic cost in terms of provisioning slave colonies with expensive food supplies (eg Irish or American pigs) and in providing military garrisons. Under free trade, with Britain’s big head start, these costs were dispensed with and the goods received in trade in exchange for her manufactured ones would have been of a quality and sophistication that would have been beyond the capabilities of an ill-educated slave colony. Caribbean slaves worked on poor land and needed food provisions from overseas. Indian and Chinese labour, subsisting on rice or whatever, did not require this and exchanged their produce without the need for (at least overt) compulsion on the part of Britain or the European powers. By the early 19th C Britain was no longer driven by the need to protect its own markets against imports from European rivals, when its imports were largely confined to the produce from its colonies. (This is Crotty’s argument, as I recall it.)

        In Ireland, with the repeal of the Cattle Acts, Ireland culd once again export livestock to Britain where there was an increasing demand for it. There was no longer any demand from the slave colonies for pigs produced by the Irish coolie class. This was the class exterminated in the Great Famine.

      • coldblow

        Just a point that occurs to me since I wrote that in a hurry last night. (Pigs should read ‘pork’ etc.)

        There is, or has recently been, a lot of talk in the media about modern slave trafficking. I doubt this exists any more than the epidemic of obesity that David was writing about quite recently.

  12. Polonius in Act I, Scene 3 of Hamlet. Polonius advises his son Laertes before heading back to school.

    Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
    For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
    And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
    This above all: to thine own self be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.

    I saw this and reminded myself why gold is called honest money. Gold has no counterparty and is not debt. It owes nobody anything.

    With fiat money as used we cannot live up to the admonition of the above. “Neither a lender or a borrower be”, as the central bankers fiat money is all issued as a debt. As such we are all doomed to be a borrower while that money exists. It is a large moral issue that corrupts all who are in contact with it.

    That is the base of all our monetary, fiscal, legal and moral problems. In short it is a deadly poison that will kill us all unless purged.

    • Robert Mc Call

      +1

      Oh lovely Tony.

      Yourself and Lady Adelaide have been perfectly right al along .Sound money, is, in and of itself, a growth strategy.

      Cowards die many times before their deaths:
      The valiant never taste of death but once.
      Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
      It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
      Seeing that death, a necessary end,
      Will come when it will come.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pn0HxUYJo8E&list=PLsUIAgRfveaOwaya97_xJMMANYCbwo2dk&index=24

      • michaelcoughlan

        Hi Robert,

        It always takes an artist to see through to the heart of the problem and your posts in fairness show great depth of character.

        One of my favourite singers when I was young was Luke Kelly. Kelly was mentored by Ewan MacColl (James Henry Miller).

        Kelly was the rarest of breeds a true believer in Communism who was prepared to live the philosophy he preached. Pity for him though. Still his commitment and courage are legendary.

        Any chance you are related? Your posts and responses are top quality. I look forward to reading more.

        regards,

        Michael.

  13. USAGold’s Mike Kosares today provides 10 gold price charts that, he confidently predicts, will never be shown on CNBC because they put the monetary metal in a surprisingly favorable light:

    “Chart 5 demonstrates gold’s viability as a deflation hedge. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the price of gold was fixed at $20.67 per ounce, and from 1933 at $35 per ounce. When the general price level fell, it gained in purchasing power simply because of the fixed benchmarks. A second advantage to gold ownership under deflationary circumstances is the metal’s status as a stand alone asset that is not simultaneously someone else’s liability. Because it is an asset the investor holds outside the financial system, it does not carry the attendant counterparty risk associated with bank deposits, annuities, common stocks, bonds and other financial assets. As such, it might very well be the ideal hedge and safe haven under deflationary circumstances.”

    http://www.usagold.com/publications/Mar2015R&O.html

  14. http://mises.org/library/russia-planning-gold-based-currency

    It is educational to read the essay.
    Even moreso is to read the comments!!

  15. michaelcoughlan

    Hi David,

    When you were on Prime Time recently you said that Draghi should buy everything that wasn’t tied down.

    PLEASE PLEASE listen to max here from 12:20.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gg3qK_gYkI

    best regards,

    Michael.

    • michaelcoughlan

      Mendoza says it brilliantly;

      End stage ponzi scheme. The population are the “Marks”.

      kakistocracy;

      “Government under the control of a nation’s worst or least-qualified citizens”

      http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/kakistocracy

      UK; Wages are falling by 8% and costs are rising 4 times faster.

      Hyperinflation in my view.

      Poluba is BOTH a Kleptocracy AND a kakistocracy.

      33% is the real rate of inflation in the UK between 2008 and 2013.

      Michael.

      • Yes, kakistocracy is a good word Michael, I used it in a few critical analysis essays in university – didn’t go down too well with the politically correct, careerist, toe-the-line academics in Maynooth but fuck them.

        What does poluba mean though?

        • michaelcoughlan

          Thanks Adam.

          I didn’t even know such a word existed until I watched Max Keiser’s video. When you hear everything explained in such stark terms it really is sobering.

          Poluba is a moniker I have created to use instead of the word Ireland for the following reasons;

          Cuba like Ireland survives on massive transfers from a much bigger friendly neighbour in Cuba’s case either Russia previously or Venezuela currently I think.

          That combined with the fact that Ireland survives on an open doors policy allowing all the polish in here to be treated like shite in min wag zero hour contracts.

          Poluba is an anagram of Poland and Cuba and an idiosyncratic attempt by myself to draw draw attention to this fact. As a result of these policies Ireland was described by another poster very accurately as the “Sow who eats her farrow” because the knock on effect is we send our finest every year to Australia where they can get jobs that pay properly.

          regards,

          Michael.

      • DB4545

        We’ve had schoolteachers,publicans and solicitors running the show since the foundation of the State so kakistocracy sums it up nicely Michael. Maybe it’s time for something fresh.

    • It goes on and on about how debt restructuring is the answer. It praised Keynesian policy of increasing government expenditure to ease the economic contraction.

      It says nothing about how the debt occurred in the first place.

      Primarily there is no understanding that all money is issued as a debt (except coin) so all are instantly indebted.

      What are we all thick as two planks that we do not get this?
      Are we all collectively so fucking stupid that we do not get this simple basic fact.

      You cannot get out of debt unless the money system is changed.

      Hello hello, Never mind a kakistocracy, we the people put them there. Who is stupid now. We let then stay there in governance, how dumb is that.

      Why do not those on this blog, and there must be a couple , who see this simple fact, get on here and analyze the proposition that we need a changed money system. One that is not debt based , not owned by the state and not subject to legal tender laws.

      all the other debate is fruitless time consuming and mere prattle.

      As for the rest of you prove me wrong and incorrect.

      Debt forgiveness is only needed in a system based on credit, and that is us collectively. This is the so called business cycle??

      We do not operate a capitalist system. Trying to su ggest capitalism has failed when it is not even used is assigning blame to another to avoid scrutiny.
      Capital is not money but assets acquired with savings. Assets acquired with debt are not strictly speaking capital as the underlying debt will usually destroy the capital asset that is acquired with it.

      Capital is paid up land , bricks and mortar, plant and equipment. Human capital is education and skills. The two capitals deployed generate production and wealth.

      Artificial stimulus such as cheap credit will cause the investment to be in the wrong places as required for the economy to flourish. This is most readily seen in the misallocation of human energy to being directed in areas where there is no demand. We see so called overqualified people in low paying jobs. Mostly these people have borrowed to get the education to find they are indebted and unemployed in their chosen field. What a waste of resources.

      Likewise investment is made in other areas where there is no demand.
      The more the government and the bureaucracy make the decisions the bigger the errors and the greater the waste and the bigger the write downs and restructuring of debt will be. What a waste. How stupid!

      Change the money system to one of no credit and we will recover.

      Not only the Bard said neither a lender nor a borrower be, but the ancient seers too.

      Such instructions are in the old testament. It also indicates that if one lends to foreigners they will fall under your dominion.

      The banking system issues money as debt and surely we are in the thrall of the bankers. We are Debt slaves and no amount of forgiveness will save us from debt until we take the money system back from where it resides.

      • Gar ODonnell

        @Mr.Brogan

        Outstanding post.

        Defining our reality, as it really is.

        “Capital is paid up land , bricks and mortar, plant and equipment. Human capital is education and skills. The two capitals deployed generate production and wealth.”

        “Who is stupid now” takes on added dimensions,for me anyway!!!

        Sincerest thanks for all your efforts.Highly laudable.

        To complete Adam Abyss’ earlier post for the nose bleed seats [ where i have a season ticket !!!]

        “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”.

        -Mahatma Gandhi

        Posted here once before,and hoping there’s no copyright infringements,i’ll take this opportunity to re-post.

        http://vimeo.com/92659631

      • Tony, I agree with you about central banks and all that but saying “all the other debate is fruitless time consuming and mere prattle” is akin to saying “shut the fuck up and only do what I say” and is not the right approach.

        The fact is, the world economy is in the toilet and something had to be done NOW, BEFORE getting rid of central banks etc. because that is not going to happen tomorrow.

        • “Change the money system to one of no credit and we will recover”

          - Tony, best you come back down to Planet Earth because that is not going to happen, even if I would like it as much as you would.

          You know it’s not going to happen, I know it’s not going to happen, the dogs in the street know it’s not going to happne. At least not yet.

          A debt conference (which IS going to happen) followed by debt restructure and/or a debt jubilee would be a realistic first step.

        • The total problem Adam, is the central banking system.

          The something that you suggest is at this point nothing unless something has substance.

          Saying it is not to happen is different to I do not know how it can be done or when it will be accomplished but that is the goal.

          The reason the world economy is in the toilet is the actions of the central banks. This is , in my and others opinion , not a random happening but a planned sequence of events.

          Those that seek to enslave you have a long term plan and sitting back to pretend it is not real or that nothing can be done about it is defeatist.

          There are solutions like the idea of a libertarian society via the broad based application of ideas over the internet. But unless you can show me what else, I stick to the main goal of freeing the money system from the claws of the elitist cabal that seek to enslave the world.

          The money system is their primary tool and in order for freedom to be obtained that system MUST be dismantled.

          Show me what else will work Adam. I’ll be happy to talk about real solutions. I see that all the prattle so far achieves nothing. Talk of tax breaks, government plans, changes to this of that do nothing to resolve anything at all. This politician or that achieves nothing.

          Ron Paul was told he would not achieve anything and the people agreed so got what they expected. The mainstream media propaganda was intense. ut when there was a breakthrough the Mainstream cut him out altogether. No debate from other than two candidates and otherwise ignored in the media. Ron Paul never gave up. He knows what the real problem is. We should not give up either.

          The change in the money system has to happen sooner rather than later Adam or we succumb to the elitist cabal of one world government rule.

          Can you see the propaganda against Putin. Who is the aggressor here Adam. The Western alliance via the UN or NATO. Ring fence Russia with ICBM, turn him into an ogre. Divert the attention of the people from real solution, to wars, and bigger and better wars.

          You can see the relevance of the money system to the power elites. Leaders assassinated , countries invaded, revolutions funded all to support the fiat money system.

          Look at the latest. Saddam selling oil in Euros. Gaddafi offering a Pan African currency in a gold dinar, Libya’s 132 tonnes of gold stolen. The rebels first request to be the formation of a central bank.
          Ukraines gold recently moved to the west for safe keeping has disappeared.
          West European countries see the writing on the wall and move to repatriate their gold. Why, Adam?

          We need a solid, honest, free money not controlled by any government. (I know you will say bitcoin) and it seems gold is still the basic tool to restrict the increase in the money supply to close to Zero. The increase on the money supply is a major cause of the debt and wars etc.

          Anyway , you are correct in one regard, all things need to be discussed but the only solution really available is disregarded by most.

          When you say, it is not going to happen soon, you in effect are telling me that I waste my time. You in effect tell others it is a waste of time. You, if not careful, now become a part of the problem. You refuse to discuss the only real option but are open to all others.

          I respond by saying all you are talking about is the bits and pieces around the edges. If I may quote the bard again. “full of sound and fury signifying nothing”

          Not being personal Adam. Playing the ball as you say and not the man. I respect you as a person and you challenge me which is good Adam. Any opinion should be constantly reviewed.

          What is your solution to fix the world economy!!

          Debt jubilees just extend the problem. They do not fix it.

      • Not disagreeing with you on Central Banks Tony but your suggestion to:

        “Change the money system to one of no credit and we will recover.”

        ..is just not going to be happen – you may as well be realistic.

        A debt conference (hopefully leading to debt cancellation) is a distinct possibility though and its somewhere to start.

        Regarding the Ukraine situation, coincidentally I talked to my friend in Kiev today about it.

        This was his opinion which I am willing to accept:

        “The end is near, haha. Look, I think, the time for peaceful settlement has gone. Negotiations are pointless, since Minsk, ceasing the fire were strategically bad decision, because of the Pu’s mercs and soldiers, firing their Grad missiles from the city districts. Civil casualties are massive, they’re fucking heir Palestinian tactics to kill not the Israel troops, but their own civilians and pretend thry were killed by Israelis. Now we have a couple of russian Su25 attacking our infantry. Sickness is all arround. In the meantime, we keep focused helping guys to fight and survive, almost everyone I know helps the volunteers with everything he can. We don’t give up. But I think, there’s no more time for speeches and debates. No time for giving chances to agressor for he may pretend it was just a joke.

        He pulls Russia right to the Dark ages with a smile on his face, so I think he won’t. Every mediocre Russian praise him a lot and happy about his efforts to enslave them all, so I think they would rather understand a collective fist, crushing their teeth, than those panic and liberal acts of Mister, Frau & Monsieur. It’s a Total Lying Machine, when it starts to chop brains, no people remains, just apes. That mean, there will be no domestic guerilla for Russia against Putin, they just got no balls and because of the Matrix, they just don’t have a reason to strike. They’re happy and think they lift themselves from the knees, West put them on to. Brainwashing at its best.”

        • I mean, it’s not going to happen right now. I would love it to happen eventually. That’s one of the reasons I mostly use Bitcoin for my business and personal life.

          • Tell us how you use bitcoin and how it enhances or detracts from business.
            Tell us the detail of what works and why.
            How easy is it to transport.
            does it convert to any currency you need where you are.
            Do you not need to carry foreign currency.
            Can you transport over borders, more than 10,000 without disclosure.
            what is the record of stability over the last 5 years.
            Do you need an internet connection at all times to access bitcoin.

            gives the run down. Educate us all. Especially those of us born in the dark ages!!

          • I will when I see you next Tony.

            Too many goody two shoes, toe the line merchants around here minding other people’s business.

        • “The ability to do large scale capital accumulation without having to need a private army is basically an artefact of pre-existing law.”

          https://bitcoinmagazine.com/18000/bitcoin-is-teaching-realism-to-libertarians-an-interview-with-old-school-cypherpunk-vinay-gupta/

          Munch, munch Tony!

          • Bloody hell, I could have written this line myself – did he plagarize me?..

            “Some people prefer gold over Bitcoin, but even if you own a lot of gold, and civilization breaks down, you’ll need people to guard your gold. And in all probability the people guarding your gold will end up owning your gold”

          • He talks about how capitalism will concentrate wealth in the pocket of the few. That’s a common misconception. CORPORATISM does that. Rothchilld, Rockefellers, Morgans and the others are rich getting richer not because of Capitalism but because they control central banks and governments. Corporatism. Without corporatism, the wealth will be allowed to flow down the pyramid.

            Somebody else’s comment here above.

            Not sure if I gained any understanding from the article, Adam.

          • I do not think I advocate a bunch of people sitting around with a sock of gold coins.

            Simply the process of the central banking system allows for a control of the money system to the detriment of all the rest. Not the 99% but the
            99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999%

            Gold as the basis of money allows a restriction of circulating currency that controls the government overspending and all the excesses of corporatism.

  16. http://kingworldnews.com/marc-faber-unveils-biggest-surprise-2015-greatest-danger-facing-world-today/

    “Eric King: “What is the greatest danger facing the world today?”

    Faber: “The greatest danger is central bankers — they’re going to bankrupt the world. That’s for sure. It’s only a question of when and how it will occur.”

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